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Lent 2013

Being Bearers of Caring Concern

Second Sunday in Lent: February 24, 2013

By Nadine Ilunga Ngoy

Luke 13:31–35, Philippians 3:17, 4:1

As we go through this Lenten season, let us reflect on what it is to be a woman in Africa. It is so very disturbing that most of women in Africa are victims of various forms of injustice around issues of poverty, rape, violence and gender. Some women are beaten, assaulted, and harassed every day. Imagine you were put in such a situation you do not have access to health care, food to eat, water to drink; in fact, you have no hope at all. We need to help these people recover their hope according to the vision of the reign of God by bringing them out of oppression.

Who will work to address the root causes of this plague that weakens the hope of so many? All of us can, if only if we accept the role of being bearers of caring concern, engaging ourselves in a journey that will lead us to recover the vision of the reign of God in our daily lives and making a difference in the world.

As I reflected on Luke 13:31-35, I realized that Jesus has already started his journey by going to Jerusalem with the mission of bringing hope to the oppressed and marginalized. Although the mission would put his life in danger, he was more concerned all human kind, offering them hope and a new life. We should follow Jesus’ example of going all over the world to bring hope to the hopeless.

We must reflect on what is going on around the world: women bear a disproportionate share of the burden of poverty, violence and victimization and these numbers are increasing. Even though sometimes offering others caring concern can be exhausting both emotionally and physically, it is my prayer that you remember this working with a purpose is the best way to make difference in the world. We should be bearers of caring concern regardless of our economy, culture, race, gender or religion.

I am personally grateful to the United Methodist Women for bringing hope into my life by being bearers of caring concern and providing me with a scholarship that has moved me one step forward in making difference in the world. My prayer is that God gives you the strength and courage to journey, together with Jesus, around the world; and help bring all human-kind out of oppression, and victimization; and assure them hope, love and healing.


Nadine Ilunga Ngoy is from the Republic Democratic of Congo. She is a M.Div. student at Drew Seminary, Madison, New Jersey, and a United Methodist Women international scholarship recipient.

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